Compare the 4 Biggest Pet Insurance Companies

One of the easiest ways to find the right pet insurance for your needs is to compare the 4 biggest pet insurance companies in the market. Often, these companies will have the longest track record for being in business, the highest ratings online, and the most comprehensive coverage.  

In this case, the four biggest pet insurers in the U.S., according to the IBISWorld Industry Report, are Nationwide, Trupanion, PetPlan, and ASPCA. Between the four of them, they control 87 percent of the market share, with Nationwide controlling 37.4 percent, Trupanion controlling 23.4 percent, PetPlan controlling 20.2 percent and ASPCA controlling 6 percent. Since they are such big players in the market, below we’ll take a look at these four companies and compare them.

Nationwide Pet Insurance:

We’ll start with the biggest pet insurer in the market. For a quick background, Nationwide insurance actually acquired and folded the U.S.’s original pet insurer, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), under its brand umbrella. So you’re getting pet insurance from a big player company in the overall insurance industry. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Nationwide has 2.7 percent total market share in the insurance industry.  

Nationwide pet insurance is famous for its extremely comprehensive coverage. Unlike many other insurance companies, it has a full array of wellness coverage built right into its highest tier whole pet with wellness plan. That plan, along with its whole pet plan, offers 90 percent back on wellness. It also has a more affordable major medical plan that focuses on major accidents and illnesses.

Nationwide is also incredibly notable in that it covers exotics. It’s the only pet insurance company in the U.S. at present that will handle exotics. The other 4 biggest pet insurance companies cover just cats and dogs. The 24-hour waiting period for the pet wellness plan is also a notable point, in that it is one of the shortest waiting periods in the industry. 

However, one key weakness is that since the coverage is so comprehensive, the plans tend to be on the more pricey side than the other big 4 insurers. While you can get the major medical plan, it still sits around $35 on average, which is higher than other lower-tier plan options in the market.  

For more information, you can see our Nationwide review here.

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Nationwide at a glance: 

  • Covers routine or preventative care: Yes
  • Waiting period: 14-days on whole pet with wellness and major medical, 24-hour for pet wellness plan
  • Pre-existing condition coverage: Coverage possible if cured for six months
  • Pricing level in relation to other 3 biggest companies: Highest, $71 per month for a small/medium 1-year-old dog in Texas 
  • Covers dental: Yes
  • Accident-only or major medical coverage option: Yes
  • Animals it covers: Dogs, Cats, Exotics 

>>MORE: Pet Insurance that Covers Preventative Care

Trupanion Pet Insurance:

Trupanion is a company that has a long history in the pet insurance marketplace. It was founded in Canada in 1999. However, it hit the U.S. in 2005. As the second-largest market share controller, it also has fairly good ratings online, most notably with a current B+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It also has about a 3.5-star rating in customer reviews with the agency, which is very high for the customer reviews section. Trupanion is known favorably for its unlimited annual payout and 90 percent reimbursement rate for its one comprehensive plan. 

However, it has had some legal action against it and negative customer reviews online, too. Trupanion differs most notably from Nationwide in that it doesn’t cover preventative, wellness or routine care. For all of that, it’s also fairly on par in price to Nationwide, putting it on the higher end price-wise.  

Trupanion is also the harshest on pre-existing conditions of the big 4. The rest of the 4 biggest pet insurance companies will cover pre-existing conditions if they are deemed curable in a stated period of time. It also has the longest wait period for illnesses. 

You can learn more about Trupanion at our review here.  

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Trupanion at a glance: 

  • Covers routine or preventative care: No
  • Waiting period: Five days for injuries and 30 days for illnesses  
  • Pre-existing conditions coverage: None
  • Pricing level in relation to other 3 biggest companies: Higher end, $67 per month for a small/medium 1-year-old dog in Texas 
  • Covers dental: Yes
  • Accident-only or major medical coverage option: Uses one main plan 
  • Animals it covers: Cats and dogs 

>>MORE: The Best Pet Insurance that Covers Pre-Existing Conditions

PetPlan Pet Insurance:

PetPlan traces its roots all the way back to the United Kingdom in 1976 and made its way to the U.S. in 2003. As the third-largest market share holder, it has fairly good reviews online from the BBB (an A+ rating) and Consumers Advocate (a 4.4/5).  

Like Nationwide, PetPlan is another company known for its comprehensive coverage of things like accidents, illnesses, injuries and even holistic/alternative treatments. However, unlike Nationwide and like Trupanion, it doesn’t cover routine care. Prices also seem to spike the most dramatically of all the big 4 companies as the dog ages, going up as much as around double the price between a 1-year-old dog and 5-year-old dog. But for a younger dog, it is the most budget-friendly option of the 4.  

The six-month waiting period for orthopedic issues, while common in the industry, could be a potential drawback in relation to the waiting periods of some of the other 4 biggest pet insurance companies.  

You can see more in our PetPlan review here.   

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PetPlan at a glance: 

  • Covers routine or preventative care: No
  • Waiting period: 15-day for injury and illness. Hip dysplasia, cruciates and patellas have a six-month waiting period. Might vary by state.
  • Pre-existing condition coverage: Possible if deemed curable 
  • Pricing level in relation to other 3 biggest companies: Lower, $30 per month for a small/medium 1-year-old dog in Texas, but spikes drastically for older dogs  
  • Covers dental: Yes
  • Accident-only or major medical coverage option: Operates under one plan
  • Animals it covers: Cats and dogs

>>MORE: Finding the Best Pet Dental Insurance

ASPCA Pet Insurance:

And finally, with its 6 percent market share, sits ASPCA in fourth place. But less market share doesn’t mean inferior coverage. Unlike PetPlan and Trupanion, ASPCA offers preventative care as add-on coverage.  

You also have the peace of mind of knowing you’re getting pet insurance from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the first humane society in North America. These people offer pet insurance because they don’t want to see an animal go without care if unexpected vet bills spring up.

ASPCA is also on the more affordable end of the prices, with prices lower than what you’d see from Trupanion and Nationwide. However, as a reminder, Nationwide has its preventative care built into its highest-tier plan, whereas ASPCA works with an add-on option for preventative care.  

However, a further note for the budget-conscious is that ASPCA does offer an accident-only plan. This plan tends to be about half the cost or less as the complete coverage option. You can even add the optional preventative care option on top of the accident-only plan alone. This is unique among the 4 biggest pet insurance companies, since preventative care is usually on top of one main comprehensive plan or only at a higher tier of coverage. 

You can learn more in our ASPCA review here

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ASPCA at a glance: 

  • Covers routine or preventative care: Yes, as an add-on
  • Waiting period: 14 days for all conditions 
  • Pre-existing condition coverage: A condition could get coverage if it’s free of symptoms and treatments for 180 days.
  • Pricing level in relation to other 3 biggest companies: Mid-range to lower, $47 for a small or medium 1-year-old dog in Texas
  • Covers dental: Yes, under the complete coverage plan
  • Accident-only or major medical coverage option: Yes 
  • Animals it covers: Cats and dogs 

>>MORE: The Best Pet Insurance for Cats

>>MORE: The Best Pet Insurance Companies

A Note on Finding Insurance with the 4 Biggest Pet Insurance Companies: 

Keep in mind that you do not need to necessarily go through the companies above direct. Some of the largest car insurance sellers also sell pet insurance plans. You may be eligible for additional discounts going through an insurance office.  

Another benefit of going through another insurer in an agent capacity is that you can talk to a real live human being this way. Pet insurers in the U.S. offer their plans online, meaning you can buy a plan without even talking to anyone. Then, when the time comes to get ahold of someone to help with a claim, many people are dismayed to realize they have to sit on hold for a long time or end up talking to a customer service agent who is less than helpful.  

Going through an insurance agent allows you to talk to someone while drawing up the plan. And depending on the insurance office and individual plan, you may be able to file claims through the agent.  

As it relates to the 4 biggest pet insurance companies above, Trupanion is offered through State Farm Insurance agents. You can learn more about the State Farm Pet Insurance situation here. 

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Final Thoughts:

  • All of the 4 biggest pet insurance companies have their pros and cons. Nationwide is the best for the most comprehensive care right in the main plan, but it tends to be the most expensive. ASPCA is the most affordable overall.  
  • It’s also important to compare secondary benefits, like whether the company offers dental, what waiting periods look like, a company’s stance on pre-existing conditions, which animals are covered and if there is an accident-only option. That way, you can make a choice that works best for you and your budget.  
  • If you want a more personable experience getting a pet insurance plan, remember to check in with major auto insurers and see if they offer any pet insurance plans as agents. For instance, Trupanion plans are offered through State Farm.

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